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Diet Affects Dental Health

Is your New year’s resolution to lose weight? Diet affects dental health too!
Nutrition influences the integrity and function of the dentition and supporting oral
structures and has a direct effect on health in general. What you eat and how often you eat
plays an essential role in attaining and maintaining a healthy smile. Because many foods and
beverages, mainly those high in added sugar, can set the caries process in motion.
Frequent snacking or sipping on sugar-containing beverages such as soda, juices,
sports drinks (even flavored waters). These create an environment for decay because it
exposes your teeth repeatedly to acid attacks.

Having a balanced diet is vital to maintain your overall health. Such as fiber-rich fruits
and vegetables are good for healthy teeth, and dairy products are a must-have for healthy
gums.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends that you select a mix
of foods from the following groups, which includes:

  • A variety of vegetables from all of the subgroups— dark green, red and orange,
    legumes (beans and peas), starchy, and other
  • Fruits, especially whole fruits
  • Grains, at least half of which are whole grains
  • Fat-free or low-fat dairy, including milk, yogurt, cheese, and fortified soy
    beverages
  • A variety of protein foods, including seafood, lean meats and poultry, eggs,
  • legumes (beans and peas), nuts, seeds, and soy products
  • Consume fewer than 10% of calories per day from added sugars
  • If you consume alcohol, consume it in moderation—up to 1 drink per day for women and up to 2 drinks per day for men—and only if you are an adult of legal
    drinking age.

Chewing high fiber foods like apples or nuts helps the mouth to produce saliva. These
will keep the food particles off from your teeth and will fight the bacteria that cause tooth
decay. Dairy products help improve oral health and also reduce the risk of developing
periodontal diseases or gum diseases, which are the primary cause of tooth loss in adults.
Also, dairy products are rich in calcium, and cheeses are useful in suppressing caries
production since they stimulate alkaline saliva, which reduces plaque bacteria.

Also, according to the American Dental Association, since milk and other dairy products
such as cheese and yogurt are low sugar, they benefit your dental health. Plus, they contain
protein and calcium, which is good for healthy teeth and gums.
Another tip from the ADA? Chewing sugarless gum for 20 minutes after eating can
reduce your risk of cavities.

You can learn more about the USDA recommendations and find suggestions for
developing a healthy lifestyle on its Web site. The ADA’s Website offers a wealth of information
about healthy smiles and dental care. Visit the ADA at “www.ada.org.”

Dental Author

Dental Author

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